Volunteers still fighting big Barber County wildfire

Volunteer firefighters in Barber County are still fighting the big Anderson Creek wildfire, working to monitor the fire's perimeter and put out hot spots.

Blackened prairie grass and trees tell the tale of the massive Anderson Creek wildfire in Barber County. (Photo: KSN/Chris Arnold)

MEDICINE LODGE, Kansas – The Anderson Creek wildfire has been burning since a week ago Tuesday, and that’s exactly what crews have been putting into fighting the fire – a full-time, non-stop effort.

The volunteer firefighters in Barber County have been on roving patrols throughout the day in known areas where hot spots are still burning, and along the fire’s perimeter.  And while the fire is largely contained, it’s still not out.

Barber County Attorney Gaten Wood says fire crews continue to work around the clock.

“We believe we had about 10 acres burned amongst five different events,” said Wood.

There were more hot spots on Thursday, more than a week after strong winds blew the fire into Kansas from Oklahoma.

Most of the more than a 100 agencies that helped aid local crews have left, leaving local volunteer firefighters to continue to battle the blaze.

Jason Hartman with Kansas Forest Services, is continuing to coordinate firefighting efforts. He says they’re making progress with the containment.

“If you take the entire perimeter and consider that 100%, 89% contained, what that term means is that we consider that area a low threat of any flare-ups,” said Hartman.

But Hartman stresses that doesn’t mean the fire is completely out.

“This fire is not out, there’s going to be days if not weeks of monitoring and addressing flare ups as they occur,” Hartman said.

With dry, windy conditions continuing, Barber County officials know their work could be far from over fighting those flare-ups and spreading fires.

“Everybody’s on edge, our Barber County Volunteer Fire Department is doing those patrols, we’re not going to let up on that,” said Wood.

Wood is asking for the public’s help, saying if anyone sees any flames or smoke they should call the Barber County Sheriff’s Office immediately.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has created a website to serve as a one-stop shop for farmers and ranchers affected by the Anderson County wildfire.

To visit the website, click here.

 

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